Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Battle of Armoury Hill - a Tercey Campaign game


The continuing story of the Second Campaign in the Valley of the Tercey …

Rockforth having arrived at his ancestoral home, immediately ordered Hastings to take the units of Urry and Nerne to the Shire Armoury and gain possession of the artillery stored within. Wingate’s Horse joined Hastings shortly thereafter.

Meanwhile, word of Rockforth’s return gave new vigour to the Shire for armed conflict. An unlikely pair decided that the Armoury would be a likely target of the “Imposer”.  Ballard was the officer in charge of its defence. His church preacher and dominate citizen was a zealous and forceful man, Artemus Twill. He cajoled the local citizens and indeed Ballard’s men to haul the large cannon, oddly named “ Sister Margaret”,  to the nearby hill.  Ballard placed his pikemen at the bottom of the hill to protect the gun while his musketeers were hidden in ambush within the nearby woods across the road down which Rockforth’s troops were expected to travel.
Artemus Twill berates inspires Ballard's pikemen

——————-
for the “Tawny”
a large gun (6 points)
Ballard’s Shotte and his Pike units (4 points each with a +1 officer or “agitator” with each )

 for the “Red” (Rockforth’s forces)
Urry’s Horse, Wingate’s Horse, Nerne’s dragoons (all 4 points each), Hasting’s Cuirassiers (half strength)(3 pts)

(Ed. note: while nominally Parliamentarian and Royalist respectively, personal and familial connection within the shire had the local participants go by the tawny (an orange shade) and red designations based on the colour of the officer’s sashes)
——————

“Oh for God’s sake!” Hastings swore out loud. Urry in the lead troop seemed determined to reach the Armoury without delay and did not seem to consider any opposition along the way! Hastings was about to have an aide sent, when a cloud of smoke and shortly thereafter a report of a cannon shot had him look up in alarm.
“The gun is no longer IN the Armoury” was his muttered response.
"Sister Margaret" is being readied to fire. My activation for 'her' was quite successful this battle.

THE BATTLE OF ARMOURY HILL

The cannon fire fired at long range did but few casualties on Urry’s lead unit which seemed unaffected at this (passed morale) and continued their trot up the road.  Obviously Wingate’s troopers following saw the few mangled bodies in the wake of the cannonball as they balked at further advance (failed activation)
Wingate's horse move against the gun
Some of Ballard’s shotte in ambush too excited by the cannon fire, let off their arquebuses too early exposing their position ( I deemed a failed activation to fire to have revealed their ambush.  A successful activation would demand a morale check on the target regardless of casualties…a good idea I think for any games which might have hidden units)
Ballard's shotte in ambush
On the ‘Red’ side, Wingate now advanced but chided away from the shotte in the woods and allowed the dragoons of Nerne to move from the fields to the left to deal with Ballard’s shotte in the woods on the right side of the road. Urry continued his advance on the hill and cannon.  Hastings, wary of committing his small troop (at half casualties from the previous battle), held back.

Ballard’s shotte once again failed activation ( ordering a reload?) However Nerne’s Dragoons spent time kicking off the mud from the fields as they too failed a move activation.

While it could have been a tactical mistake as it was not ordered, but Ballard’s pike had indeed gained a semblance of close order as they crowded around to hear preacher Twill’s words. They now moved into contact with Urry’s troopers.  The pike won the clash and Urry fell back in good morale until “Sister Margaret” boomed once again, with the remaining lone trooper losing heart and falling back out of the action.
Urry pushing aside Ballard's pike to continue up the hill to the gun.
Under Nerne’s dubious leadership (indeed this unit has very much under-performed!) the dragoons don’t advance, don’t shoot, nor even return fire from their exposed position. (4 times they failed to activate to do anything!)

Meanwhile near the hill, Wingate following Urry, charged the Pike pushing them away and opening up the way to the gun when that beast shot again (surprisingly owing to the high activation factor of the artillery) and killing many of the horsemen with “the greatest of slaughter” (all but one of the dice were hits ! ) and the few remaining willingly gave up the attempt to capture the ordinance and rode off.
This ended the battle and Twill and Ballard gave praise for their victory.  Rockforth was denied his gun. What will his next move be?


A popular local tune, sung to an ancient drinking song, contains the battle’s history:

Urry came up, all in a hurry

Wingate came up, in a short gait

Hastings wasn’t hasty, at all

Ballard’s men fired

b’ they want to retire

Twill chided and preached

t’ pike couldn’t be breached

But when hence Sister Margaret doth fire

Rockforth men did hastily retire

to ask ‘im “what now sire?”!

Apparently it sounds much better accompanied with local county music and many a good beer.......


Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Katana Rampant reprise


Katana Rampant - Lion Rampant with hand gun addition

Whoa, after three days of a wargaming convention I host another game with FrancisM’s boys the next day on Monday to make it four games in four days.

The scenario is a simple one with the Takeda having captured the personal standard of Okudaira Sadamasa who wants it back. (I didn't want to repack so simply used the same as I did on Friday!)

I use the stand of musicians and the standard bearer which I painted but which have no real use within the rules, into the scenario along with the new raw bamboo mantles which gave the protectors of the captured flag some defences.

The game was an introduction of Lion Rampant to the group who were ‘amused’ by the activation - or lack thereof - of the many units and the dice luck - or not - by others.

In particular was the continual activation of his teppo by FrancisM - usually a difficult proposition by the slow firing hand-gunners - yet his total inability to hit with them!  In five straight rolls with six dice each,  he was unable to roll a 6 and thus unable to gain a single hit with 30 dice!  His target was another arquebus unit but in this case ChrisO was unable to actually activate his unit to fire at all!

But, yes, some fighting did occur.  Including when I bravely (foolishly) ran out some peasants out of a house where they were hiding. This was to give them the idea how bad troops play against good troops within the rules.
 The Takeda commander of the nearest unit assumed they were hostile and immediately ordered bowshot into them.  I asked if he knew if the peasants were hostile or friendly as indeed I did not say one way or another as I simply moved it from the building. Somewhat taken aback “CokeDave” fired nevertheless.  The peasants charged in, and then ran away…..
the Japanese peasants "come out to play"

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Hosted games at Trumpeter Salute 2017


Chided into hosting 4 games during the convention, I decided on three completely different eras so that I may organize the transport into separate “shipments”  thus without much need to remember to move items from one pile into another each bleary-eyed morning…

With that in mind, I hosted a semi-skirmish Japanese samurai game on Friday, two distinct sessions of grand-tactical Napoleonic battle on Saturday, and a low key French and Indian War game on Sunday.  Surprisingly it all went well.

Trumpeter Salute Convention My games: Friday afternoon

Sengoku Era Japan - Samurai Game using “Katana Rampant” (Lion Rampant rules with addition for handguns)
Okudaira tempo ready to fire upon the walls 

The scenario has a surprise attack by the Takeda upon the Okudaira besiegers of their castle.  To keep it a surprise, I told all the players of the procedures to take the wall of the castle.  This included activation to climb the walls, and defensive fire from them.  While I kept the defensive fire rules for the game, the intent was not to have a siege game but a straight up fight with a surprise flank attack.  To that, I was successful.

 (besides…. the walls were built only to give a backdrop for photos!)

I gave the flank attack player the option of either using his normal troops to lead the attack but through the muddy fields (rough ground) or if he leads with the peasants they know a drier faster way.  But of course, then,  you are leading your attack with peasants who are not the exactly the best choice as a military unit to lead any attack!
The Takeda (with black back-flags) emerge in the muddy fields for their flank attack!

In any event, he lead with his samurai who while fighting well in the muck (‘ferocious’ rule) still are slow to get through it and impossible with his poor activation rolls! The (were) attacking the walls (now) defending from the flank attack players managed to recover from the surprise and a good game was the result.
the Okudaira reinforcements rush into the fight


 Game Two!

With a small game and fast action we had the time to have a second action. The scenario was a simple one with the Takeda having captured the personal standard of Okudaira Sadamasa who wants it back.




Trumpeter Salute Convention My games: Saturday afternoon

I would do two games of the historical Napoleonic Battle of Vyazma, each in a separate session.
a view from the east showing the French and Allies strung out along the road, with the town of Vyazma, represented by the church in the distance their goal to survival.  The villages of Gorontka (near centre) and Fedorskoie (near right) are represented with the French rearguard under Davout holding Fedorskoie.  The Russians of Ostermann-Tolstoy and Eugene of Wurttemburg (left) under Miloradovich are attacking from the south to cut off the retreat.

  This first one had six players participating with three French and three Russian players.
The Battle of Vyazma occurred during Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow and only days before the snows began.  Miloradovich, the Russian commander, pressed his attacks on the French rearguard of Davout’s corps centred around the villages of Fedorskoie and Gorontka, with Eugene’s (with some Italians), Poniatowski’s Poles , and Ney’s corps strung out along the road of retreat towards the town of Vyazma.
Wurttemburg's Russian Corp attacking the French and take Gorontka

For the French, their objective was to get as many units, including supply wagons, safely off the table and continue the retreat through Vyazma.  If they did so with more than those destroyed or captured (any left on the table should the Russians take that town), they win the game.  Thus, the French had the task of moving AND fighting to survive.
Davout must simultaneously transfer troops along the road and support the defence against the Russian attack. He does a good job

The Russian objective was simpler.  They were to destroy the French.  Casualties were not a concern.
The height of the Russian attack. The near marsh deemed impassible, as indeed it was historically, restricted direct Russian moves against Vyazma (off camera to the left) and served to constrict the Russian reserves.
We can see Platov's cossacks and Paskevich's small infantry division in the far distance trying to move against the French in a flanking move.

For this task, I placed the Russian commands in their historical locations allowing each player to deploy as they wished.  From east to west, Platov’s cossacks, combined with the small infantry division of Paskevich,  attacked from the end of the long table against Davout’s rearguard.  Wurttemburg’s corps with Korff’s cavalry came from the south, while Tolstoy’s corps with Siever’s cavalry moved toward Vyazma itself to potentially cut of the French/Allies retreat.
The Russians were historically estimated at 22,000 to 24,000 in strength.  The French total is unknown but would be at comparable numbers.
With a very large strength ratio and using 28mm figures, a village can only be represented by one building.   

The French players had the unenviable task of choosing when to run and when to fight all the while moving toward their goal of the exit point.  To be honest, seeing the deployments in full, I did not think the French had much of a chance, but to their credit, they managed to get more than 50% off the table successfully for the victory.  Notably on the French side was the decision by “Ney” who was closest to Vyazma, to quickly file his units off the table leaving only his artillery to hold off the Russians and keep the road open for the others;  and the unfortunate die roll by “Tolstoy” failing his corps morale roll and having to fall back thus losing the opportunity to close the door on the French.  It turned out to be a good scenario.

The Russian advance continues!

Trumpeter Salute Convention My games: Saturday evening

In this second game of the Battle of Vyazma, I reset the scenario to the original starting points.  I did move the road on which the French moved from the centre of the table slightly further away from the Russian southern attack which gave everyone a bit more maneuver space and the French a tad more time to have units retreat toward the town.
Deployment of the French (centre) along the road.  The Russians (left bottom) attacking from the south. 

In this game, we only had one player commanding each side.  It had the usual effect of having a much more ‘ordered’ game in action and in the even look of the elements on the table!
With only one player per side controlling all elements, the game tends to have a more "ordered" appearance!

Surprisingly the result again was a French “victory” with very slightly more elements having got off the table than were destroyed or captured.


Uvarov's Cuirassiers, historically sent into action very late in the day,  finally make an appearance. But as in the first battle, make little impact as they are late and too far in the rear to make an effect.  They are pretty however!




Trumpeter Salute Convention My games: Sunday

French and Indian Wars action - 'Manage-a-troi'

A good group of wargamers who are there to gleefully move around pieces on the table in good humour certainly make for delightfully entertaining game and none more so than the group who signed up for my French and Indian War game on Sunday.
Without knowledge of how many players I would have ( Sunday gaming is always less populous but numbers can be unpredictable) I needed to very much come up with a scenario on the fly.  In this case, the whiskey wagon (it would seem ALL my FIW games involve the whiskey wagon as everyone, natives included, would love to capture it!) .  The British were tasked to escorting it to the fort.  They could take the longer, but more open route, or the shorter but forest choked shorter route.  They chose the latter after the French and Native players had deployed.
The respective Native players (both the English and French having native allies) were given blanks but did not know if they were real or mere shadows in the darkness of the woods.  As the terrified Europeans could fire at perceived shadows and the chieftains having no control of the actions of their war bands, the unknown nature of the blanks to all players seemed to work to good effect.  Well, OK, a bit frustrating for the Native player to carefully move his blanks into an excellent firing position only to find not one but three of his elements were false but then again the European player halting only to find himself once again firing at shadows is an equally disappointing yet realistic event.  And it does add to the suspense.  I do assure the players that half of the blanks are real (even numbered are there, odds are not) so as more are revealed more is known of the remaining.  — although I might want to mess with that ratio in a future game! ;)

Again I will let the pictures tell the story but the game ended with most of the French elements eliminated and the wagon free to deliver the fire-water to the fort.
view of the action
the infamous 'Whiskey Wagon"
British regulars in campaign lead the British lights also in campaign dress. The British commander suggested to himself that he should have, in hindsight, reversed that deployment! ;)
Natives cross a stream.  I heavily 'terrain' my bases.  A very inexpensive by simply looking outside and nearby parks for the natural items. 
'the Fort' is designed to fit into a small corner of the table 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

2nd Tercey Campaign - First Battle


Dedication:
 for BillS - thanks for the Osprey

“The Earl of Rockforth is dead, your Majesty”
“Who?”, asks the King.
“Percy Hewes, 4th Earl of Rockforth, Sire.  Holdings along the River Tercey”
“Why doth the name seem familiar?”
“Your quoits partner yesterday?” diffidently suggests the clerk.
“Ah yes”, recalls the King, “hansome young man but not very…Is he dead?”
“Ah, no, Sire, his father;  a great supporter of your divine Majesty”
“Must continue that. Send the young man. Oh and give him a chest of silver.”
“The silver will require a guard, Sire”
“Yes, yes, Hastings will do and also give him that useless Nerne and his dragoons”

Thus Howard Hewes, 5th Earl of Rockforth, escorted by a unit of cuirassiers under Hastings and a unit of dragoons we enter our second season of fictional campaigning along the Tercey during the times of the English Civil War.  I am using my very old collection of Foundry figures painted almost 30 years ago and now using the new The Pikemen’s Lament rules, I hope to record my occasional solo games.


Battle of Henry’s Ford

(prologue)
“My Lord in Heaven, you challenge me so” Hastings muttered as a curse to his misfortune. He was informed that Hewes was ‘indisposed’  within the travelling sedan and thus will be commanding from within its confines.  A rather awkward arrangement but one the new Earl insisted upon (or perhaps more myself wanting to see this model upon the table, and rolling a rather very poorly for the new Earl’s officer traits per the rules….”ineffectual” he is….)

A moment after returning to his unit during this rest at the inn at Henry's Ford near the edge of the shire,  Hastings spotted the mass of riders galloping toward him with raised swords.  He expected little help from the dragoons and hoped his call for assistance would ‘urry.  His mood lightened slightly over this clever pun, but would Edward Urry’s elite cavalry arrive in time?

His opponent, Haribald Blare with his unit of aggressive horsemen, was tasked by Lord Brooke to capture and/or kill the new Earl and obtain the chest of silver reported to be with him.  Blare was given a unit of commanded shot selected from Brooke’s own unit and shortly an elite unit of Lordship’s pikemen would follow.

With the new The Pikemen’s Lament rules in hand, I began my new campaign with a small game  with support coming on a turn decided by dice.

Rather than randomly roll for each officer’s traits per the rules, I have given each of my available commanders a trait from the chart but based upon my own impression upon the look of the figure itself.  While we have discovered Howard Hewes is a recluse in his sedan chair,  Blare is a “careless” officer and will charge any enemy without question ( an automatic wild charge in having a “careless” officer in an aggressive unit! )

Onto the battle:
Rockforth’s Command
Nerne’s : Dragoons with Hewes attached @ 4 points
Hasting’s Cuirassiers : Gallopers upgraded to elite to account for their 3/4 armour @6 points
later: Urry’s elite Trotters @ 6 points

Blare’s Command
His Galloper cavalry @ 4 points with Wild Charge
Brooke’s Commanded Shot @2 points
later: Brooke’s elite Pike @ 6 points

It was thought the advantage in command by Blare would assist in the point differential ....and that my math was terrible..…
the initial clash of Blare and Hastings

The game:

Immediately Blare orders his horsemen into a charge against Hasting’s Cuirassiers ( he being ‘careless’ with a wild charge unit makes it automatic! ).  Hastings order a counter-attack and for two turns, each side in turn attacks with confidence each time, in a frenzy of sword cuts.  Meanwhile, the Commanded Shot of Brooke and the dragoons of Nerne under the ineffectual command of Hewes (giving no additional help to the dice) move to face across the field protected by rock walls. The cattle who rather stared in mute indifference to the actions of the cavalry, bolted upon finally hearing the first firing of shot, weak that it was, and moo-ved away.
the cattle observe the cavalry action

It is at this point my dubious dice rolling comes into serious play as I roll double ones for Blare’s activation and a further roll of a 1 has this unit pull out from the action ( as dictated in the rule’s chart).  At the same time, Hewes’ activation has Urry’s Horse come on with…wait for it…a double six activation roll! Thus Urry’s unit gains a +1 morale bonus.

Brooke’s veteran pike have now entered the battlefield and the Commanded Shot retreat move to its protection as both Urry’s and Hasting’s horse converge.  Nerne’s dragoons again fail their activation - 5 of the 8 attempts during the game!
The recluse Howard Hewes in his sedan chair. His forces win despite his lack-luster leadership abilities 

The pike go into close order while the commanded shot start their desultory fire on Urry’s boys who have moved up and started several rounds of caracole fire on the pike.  The pike hold their own and so the pistolers do not force the issue.  Several minutes silence on the battlefield now commence … all the initial fire activations by both sides failed for three turns in a row!  This stand-off continued until surprisingly Nerne’s Dragoons finally entered into range of Brooke’s immobile pike. While not forcing it into morale failure, it did whittle away causing casualties.
The Rockforth cavalry converge on the Brooke's remaining units. Note the black clad preacher on foot with Urry's horsemen: he is the marker indicating that the unit gains +1 morale due to a abnormally good activation roll a turn or two before.
The units of Hastings (top) and Urry (bottom) along with the dragoons behind the rock wall move toward the resolute pike and Commanded Shot of Lord Brooke

Foregoing the caracole tactics, Urry’s elite trotters attacked the commanded shot virtually destroying them while Hastings unit now at half strength but full of vigour charged the pike who sustained more casualties, forcing it back and out of it’s close order formation after giving Hastings’ cuirassiers many hits from it’s wall of pike.
Showing my new basing for the pike. Note it is only five bases to move but with all possibilities for any amount of casualties.  link to previous post

However the battle was effectively over.  Both Brooke’s units failed their activation, hurt as they were, with the pike rolling double 1’s ( I honestly am the worst of die rollers ) and as a result of the rule’s chart effect, it fled down the road with Urry’s Horse merrily chasing them down.
Thus the initial clash of the 2nd Tercey campaign was a complete Rockforth victory. Howard Hewes the 5th Earl, can now continue in his late father’s footsteps and with the chest of silver safe, to form an army to fight Brooke’s forces in the near future.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Capture the Flag


With the monthly club night, I brought out my newly finished Samurai collection for a go using ‘Katana Rampant’  rules.  Actually these are but the straight Lion Rampant rules with the addition of the  'handgonne' supplement for the use of the teppo (arquebus) units.  After reading comments in the intro section of my newly acquired ‘The Pikemen’s Lament’ (thanks Bill!) in which it was suggested to play on smaller tables to “get at it”; a sediment dear to my heart.  It was thus that we played on a 3 foot square mat using 24 point clans (read: retinues) I mean really, how many turns/time is wasted just moving our little soldiers to attack where everyone, both attacker and defender know where they will but must trudge across vast expanses of table 6” at a time. Especially with the LR style of game, this is not assured in any case so one can have opposing units close together without too much tactical loss.  This was certainly evident as we played two games of the same scenario with two different outcomes due to activation.
Middle of the battle on the 'small' table

The scenario loosely based on one of the missions in TPL which has in this case a poorly guarded umijirushi personal standard and drummers of Okudaira Sadamasa  attempted capture by the Takeda.  Whichever side could ‘guide’ the drummers and standard-bearer off the table to their side wins.
The Takeda move to capture the standard while the Okudaira try to fend them off
Takeda units are moving up in support earlier in the battle

ColinU and KevinA each took half the Takeda (black back-flags) and PeterM and myself took the Okudaira   (red/white back-flags) with everyone using the rule’s failed activation each…which everyone seemed to do quite often and sometimes together during a turn!

The first game the Takeda fended off the Okudaira reclaiming efforts, in the second, the reverse was basically the case with my newly painted half-retinue of Oyamada (with the blue back-flags) offering more distraction than help to either side.
Using all my newly painted 28mm figures (Kingsford Miniatures but for the peasants who are from Perry Miniatures)

While the table was small, but other than having units retreat off table a bit too easily, the action was not too crowded and indeed to me, felt right for the game.  The 3” keep-your-distance controversial rule was not employed and did not hinder the action which was typically fast and chaotic.
The peasants.  In a "what might happen if.." moves, I charged the Takeda mounted samurai with the peasants.  A victory of sorts; the peasants only lost in retreating and not getting themselves killed!

The Oyamada samurai did not get in the action but the lighting is too good not to do a photo op
I tired of painting the usual black armor so put some of the Oyamada ashigaru in brown. Note I used the radical notion of a 4,3,2,2.1 basing style which uses even one less base to mount a 12 figure unit.





Friday, 24 February 2017

a Sengoku set to

Andrew brought over his Japanese to have a go at a Lion Rampant game.  In part it was an experiment of basing styles as his are based for Armati which he plays with the White Rock Gamers, and mine which I merely placed on pre-cut wood shapes of ovals and circles from an art store .  While my units had a greater arc of fire - the rules have range simply based upon nearest point - and I have wider units, it did not seem to have much obvious effect. ( as he was victorious ).
Andrew's "tight formations" of arquebus armed ashigaru advance against my mixed armed unit of Takeda ashigaru in the foreground.

And the battle was a bloody affair with courage tests being passed by good dice...as compared to most of our combat rolls....

The scenario, as it was, to have Andrew take the village while I was to defend it.  The orchard and houses created lanes of attack so the battle had a form of north and south zones.  His primarily teppo  force  [ arquebus armed units ] moved against my mixed weapon [ bow and spear armed ] units in the 'north' while his samurai, both foot and horse, moved against the Takeda teppo and samurai in the 'south'.
the 'northern' section of the battle
..and in the 'south' Andrew's Dixon mounted samurai unit moves against my Kingsford types - a clash which my Takeda took the worst 
the clash of foot samurai 

In future I shall look at some of the more inventive scenario plans for perhaps a more interesting game but as a test, the rules work well for the period as we simply used LR attributes.  My archers did seem to do a bit better than his teppo inclusive units so might increase the arquebus power as the Japanese of the era gave the firepower more like the flintlock than a medieval handgonne.
my ashigaru await the onslaught. 

The Takeda arquebus behind their pavises however could not shoot well but Andrew likewise could not get his foot samurai to advance quickly - or in Lion Rampant terms...failed activation often which gave me another turn to fail to inflict casualties!  

a rare view from the 'other side'!  Andrew's foot samurai charging from the left finally get to grips with my teppo unit.

the pavises cost 2 points but increase 'armor' protection. Homemade by gluing three wooden coffee stir sticks side by side and painted in the clan 'colours'

Speaking of activation, we employed the two and out rather than having the first fail to stop your turn.  Much better feel - more to the player's frustration level than to the game play,  but the game is
supposed to be fun...





Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Historic Battle of Tegula (Zulu Wars)

Editoral note: originally written in September 2015 (!) this post was overlooked but the project still holds interest for me. As I have had nothing to post for awhile I thought I should fill in the gap....

Have no idea why my interest in the Zulu Wars but probably because I watched Zulu and Zulu Dawn movies in my early days and kept those images in my head.

Thus any magazine article about the Zulu and warfare involving that South African tribe strokes my interest.  An old wargame magazine description by Ian Knight [ Miniature Wargames  No.25 ] of the engagement between the colonists of Durban, Natal and the Zulu in 1838 had me thinking. (oh, oh, here we go off onto another "project" !! )

The abbreviated history goes something like this:

A Voortrekker deputation to Port Natal to ask the English Settlement for assistance against the Zulus was met with success. In 1838 John Cane and Robert Biggar with 14 other English settlers, 30 Hottentots and over 3000 native levies went as an expeditionary force in support to the Voortrekkers Commandos of Uys and Potgieter. (who were attacked a day before and were soundly defeated) After crossing the Tugela River the Expenditionary force came across the Zulu military kraal (camp) Ndondakusuka at the foot of the mountain but the lack of full resistance soon indicated that this was a trap and as dawn slowly appeared some 10,000 Zulu warriors appeared on the scene and fierce fighting ensued. The line of retreat across the river was cut off and the expeditionary force was surrounded. Thus on the 17th April 1838 ended the battle of Tugela,  Few of the expeditionary force escaped from this battle.
To distinguish the supporting Port Natal native troops, they were given white cloth head bands.  These "Hottentots" and some 400 of the natives were trained and armed with muskets, while the rest were armed as native warriors, some of which were Zulu expatriates.  This made the selection of figures easy and I simply added a green-stuff headband to those Natal allies. It was said that the natives would wind yards of cloth around their heads so the resulting headwear resembled a turban! This certainly helped in my modelling efforts as it is quite easy to apply too much green stuff to the small 15mm chaps.



 As with all my wargaming with the Zulu I use a heavily infused DBA style rules  (...thus far....) , so each force is of 12 elements - the Zulu look more numerous as I use double sized stands for them.  As I have yet to play this scenario I may indeed have them twice as large to equalize the effect from the Natal musket armed troops.   Because of the disproportional effect of firepower in the battles of this era, the Natal 'army' has 5 of its 12 elements as "rifle" armed, with the warriors equal to those of the Zulu.
The deployment is conjecture of course but does follow the DBA mandates.  The kraal starts with one additional defending element.  I may make the mountain smaller and closer to the Zulu side with the Natal army closer to the centre of the table.  In light of the historical battle, perhaps tell the Port Natal player that the idea is to save the army and not fight the Zulu....but the Zulu won't know this of course!
Not really pleased with the look of the table/basing and may change all this in the future but this small project is an interesting one for me.